This technology marketing masterclass – hosted by Man Bites Dog’s Head of Technology Division Fiona Buckley and featuring Patrick Cassleman, Senior Director, Sustainability Center of Excellence at Intel and Man Bites Dog CEO Claire Mason – explores marketing at the convergence of sustainability and digitalisation.  

For business leaders, technology plays a paradoxical role in the sustainability agenda. This is because fundamental business functions such as global computing, data centres and data transmission networks are inarguably significant contributors to carbon emissions, water use and e-waste. There is a scale that needs to be balanced: demand for computing performance vs reducing environmental impact.

In this webinar, the panel discussed The Sustainable CTO, a global thought leadership platform developed by Man Bites Dog and Intel, which shines the spotlight on tech leaders as pivotal sustainability influencers in the corporate C-suite. Patrick, Claire and Fiona explain how Intel has used this platform to engage with C-suite buyers and supercharge sales. 

The panel also dived into The Sustainable CTO, a thought leadership initiative created for Intel in partnership with Man Bites Dog. The study gathered insights from 2,020 global business leaders from 22 markets to share their triangulated perspectives as CTOs, CEOs and chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the world’s largest companies. The Sustainable CTO initiative introduced a new model of tech leader with the potential to become the greatest driver of sustainability in the corporate C-suite. Man Bites Dog positioned Intel as a thought leader in sustainability by moving the agenda beyond ‘tech zero’ to ‘tech positive’.

Tech Zero: Reducing the carbon footprint of an organisation’s IT function. 

Tech Positive: Using technology as a lever for the whole organisation to reach its net-zero goals and to have a positive overall impact, driving business growth and accelerating innovation.

The webinar also broke down five practical steps to successful thought leadership.

  1. Future Thinking: to be a thought leader you must lead, not follow.
  2. A Strong Core Idea: a radical concept that represents against-the-grain thinking.
  3. Substantial Data: credible evidence to support your story.
  4. Alignment to your strategy and services: starting with the end in mind.
  5. Winning attention and engagement: unleashing your experts and engaging others in the story.

Fiona, Patrick and Claire discussed the power of implementing all five of these elements to see both internal and external results across your organisation. Specifically, the panel discussed the opportunity that this content can bring to sales teams. By giving them original data on a topic of key interest to their client's business success, such as sustainability, they can have informed and educated conversations with those clients, forming stronger relationships.

To learn more about the power of thought leadership and what it could mean for your organisation, reach out to us at [email protected]. For the latest updates on Man Bites Dog events and content, register for future event invitations here, or follow us on LinkedIn.

You can't go a day without seeing a story about data. Whether it's a company misusing data, legislation about data, or how much your personal data is worth, these little chunks of information are big news and big business.

You’ve also probably heard that ‘data is the new oil’, and there’s certainly a lot of money to be made from it. But there’s more to it than that. Like oil, when it’s processed properly data can produce a whole range of innovative new products.

But when it comes to improving business performance, data tends to be used in pretty traditional ways. Most new products use data to offer more efficient or comprehensive ways of analysing something easily quantifiable like financial performance, workplace productivity or industry growth.

Better ways of measuring these things are important, but companies have already been recording them for decades – or even centuries. What if it was possible to measure something completely different?

What's most exciting right now is using data to understand the human aspects of a company. Businesses are getting more switched on to how important culture is to a company’s success, and there is growing evidence that good culture increases profits, but because it’s so difficult to benchmark company and market wide, it’s often neglected.

Big players in the tech industry led the way on prioritizing amazing company culture, and Google’s free meals, flexible working and on-site massages certainly don’t seem to have done their profits any harm. This has definitely put culture on the agenda for businesses big and small, but executives often need to know the exact impact something has on the bottom line to invest in it.

One of our new clients at Man Bites Dog is using data to crack the culture conundrum. Although some other companies are trying to figure what makes a good or bad culture, Temporall are really one to watch – they’re using machine learning to actually work out the value of different organisational cultures.

Why will people care? Because we’ve never been able to measure the abstract parts of organisations before, culture often gets a reputation for being “fluffy” and is often put in the HR category of something that needs to be improved companywide. But this isn’t a nice-to-have. On top of affecting overall profits, culture is important for attracting and retaining employees, developing new products and services and with top talent in short supply this could become a crucial factor in winning the best staff.

This could be the start of a new data revolution, and Temporall are a key player in measuring things that matter to employees and boards. Companies could be ranked by culture, transforming what they are judged on and why they succeed. I’ve no doubt that over time it will be become a recognised KPI for management. Ethics would become competitive and the labour market will evolve accordingly. If data is the new oil, this could be the invention of plastic - but without clogging up the seas. I say we embrace the culture shock.

The smart connected home is almost a reality, as I discovered on a recent visit to Unruly's connected home experience. From augmented reality shopping options for home furnishings at the touch of a button, voice activated shopbots giving food and wine pairings, cocktail recipes, to state of the art heart, health, and sleep monitors, air quality assessments, and everything in between, there’s no denying the extraordinary capabilities of our future homes.

Whether you think gadgets or robots catering to your every need would be delightful or lead to dystopia (I’m a Black Mirror fan!), they are set to revolutionise how we live, shop and even think. At the Unruly experience we talked a lot about how tech advancement will affect the way people shop, cook, sleep and relax in their homes. But that’s not all it’s going to change. How will it influence what we buy, which products we discover and why we stay loyal to brands? And what space will this leave for B2B marketers?

The brand bypass bogeyman

In B2B, we need to start planning what our role will be in this smart connected world. One crucial consideration will be how to avoid brand bypass. As consumers choose more and more of their purchases via intelligent systems, this could drastically change – and limit – the products and experiences they are exposed to.

Think about shouting at your Alexa tucked away in the corner of your kitchen whenever you need more milk, a new hair dryer, or a bottle of wine. Gradually, it will change its suggestions based on your previous purchases, perhaps suggesting the same electronics brand as your hair straighteners, or a selection of bottles made from your favourite grape.

This can create an echo-chamber where consumers stick to the same products because they aren’t exposed to others. But it’s not just consumer choice that could dictate this – business partnerships will influence results listings, nudging customers towards their own hard-won commercial partners.

Your personal cyber-shopper

Customers often don’t know which brand they want, or even which are available. But if they don’t specify when buying through smart devices, an algorithm will pick instead. Not having to decide which particular item to buy will sometimes be good for the consumer, and sometimes won’t be – they might end up paying a premium or missing the product that best fits their needs.

But it definitely won’t be good for individual companies trying to grow their market share in a crowded marketplace. Popular or promoted brands will scoop up extra sales, while newcomers could struggle to even get noticed, let alone added to your basket. B2C businesses will need smart strategies from B2B marketers to survive.

If the home is only a few years away from the ultimate new shopping mall, as B2B marketers how can we make sure our clients’ products are at the front of the shelves?

Striking high-profile partnerships and deals will be crucial to push your client’s products up the search results, and so will marketing outside the home, which will need to be effective enough to cement brand identity into the search, then buying, decision.

The B2B Smart Home Opportunity

It’s not just B2C facing these new challenges in making their products stand out – the B2B community are far from immune. Key purchasers are acting more and more like consumers when buying business-related services, and they want their experience with your brand to be as slick and sophisticated as the products they buy in their personal life.

What’s more, as working from home becomes more and more common and the technology often more advanced at home than at work, the experience of buying business and personal products will converge.

The key to making sure you stand head and shoulders above the crowd is taking ownership of an issue that differentiates you. Wrap your brand around the issue or problem you solve and build an ecosystem of partnerships and communities which makes sure your brand stays visible and clearly defined.

For B2B companies who can adapt, the smart home provides an incredible opportunity to promote their services and snap up new business. After all, it won’t be too long before your clients are buying your products by talking to their hallway mirror...

I recently attended the techXLR8 event as part of London Tech Week, the biggest showcase by leading tech companies of technology and innovation in Europe. I was encouraged to see, that despite the economic Brexit angst, the tech scene is going from strength to strength in the UK, which is why it forms a crucial part of the future industrial economy.

Last year, UK venture capital investment exceeded Germany, France and Sweden combined. We have the third highest global investment in tech after the US and China, with £2.3bn being injected into the sector recently.

Confidence from corporates remains strong too, as Salesforce announced it would invest £1.9bn in the UK over the next five years, proving that that they believe in the thriving diverse talent we have to offer. And a few weeks ago London was once again ranked as the leading tech hub in Europe.

So it’s all good right, the market is buoyant. But what stood out for me?

Augmented Reality – Why now?

AR is talked about a lot, it feels like the shiny new toy, but it’s still misunderstood in terms of the value it can bring to companies in the future, especially in the B2B space. 

An augmented reality living room

When listening to Blippar it became clear that AR cannot be considered as an extension of digital – it’s an entirely different medium and should be treated as such.

When applied intelligently, it has the power to transform the user experience in pretty much every market, from industrial manufacturing to retail and healthcare. Imagine the new and exciting partnerships you can foster as part of your AR strategy when looking to sell your service as part of the customer experience? AR could be described as the perfect storytelling tool but it will demand a new way of thinking.

In terms of B2B, marketers need to consider how and when this becomes part of the customer experience. Ultimately you’ll need to rethink how you launch the new product or service and how best to captivate your customer perhaps using geo-location-based services and new viewing experiences at conferences or events. The key message here, is to learn as much as you can about what the tech can offer, experiment and think ahead.

Transportation of the Future – Hyperloop

I’m always interested in the future of transportation as I work with global logistics company Agility. I listened to an impressive presentation from Virgin Hyperloop One and wished we could fast forward 20 years so the commute so cities become metro stops instead of far away destinations.

Hyperloops hold significant potential to become the first new mode of public transport in over 100 years, promising significantly shortened intercity travel times, lower costs, potentially transforming regions and decreased negative environmental impacts.

Heavy traffic on a motorway

An example is a standard commute from London to Manchester which may take 2H 2M on a train and by road 4 hours. With Hyperloop it will take 26 minutes. It’s a similar story in Los Angeles, where Elon Musk’s perfectly named Boring Company is looking to create the infrastructure to ferry commuters between downtown L.A and LAX in just 10 minutes, down from one and a half hours during rush hour, and all for just $1.

However, what is the reality for business and the logistics industry?  The common belief is that moving containers and cargo - not people is where the first round of disruption will happen. I, for one will be looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

To learn more about our logistics expertise and how we can take your services to market, getting you heard by the companies that matter to you, contact us at [email protected].

Business transformation has hit a rapid pace. Whether it's through innovation, acquisition, or diversification, organisations are facing exponential pressure to expand and evolve as globalisation and technology fuel increasingly competitive marketplaces.

In an era where companies are built to change, not necessarily to last, many businesses have only two options; evolve or face extinction. But the challenges of fast-paced business transformation can be significant.

As organisations expand their offerings, enter new markets or merge corporate cultures post acquisition or merger, the risk of fragmentation is acute. Companies can become disconnected from their purpose for being and the reasons their customers chose them in the first place, alienating stakeholders both inside and out. And as CMOs are increasingly expected to play a strategic role in bringing their organisation together, this presents new demands on the marketing function. But in a constantly changing environment, business objectives and focus, ensuring marketing efforts remain united can become an endless battle.

Whether you’re faced with balancing the demands of siloed business units; developing campaigns that resonate in multiple markets or creating PR programs that get universal buy-in, it’s easy to become pulled in multiple directions. Coupled with the fact that the marketing industry is exploding with tactics, channels and marketing platforms, there is a strong temptation for marketers to divide and conquer.

While Martech has an important role to play in the modern marketing mix, falling in awe of digital innovations can be a perilous distraction from the bigger picture. Developing a multitude of siloed mini-marketing strategies will drain your budget and divide your time, ultimately failing to deliver the company-wide impact that's expected of a marketing department.

In an era where organisations face increased competition, wavering customer loyalty and lower levels of employee engagement, reducing fragmentation has never been more vital. Marketers need to renew their story to improve coherency, enhance clarity and engage customers, employees and investors to support the organisation’s next phase of evolution.

So when you need to deliver on all fronts, how do you ensure that you can develop a campaign that delivers? The answer: a single unifying campaign, delivered through a compelling story, that unites an organisation with it's customers.

At Man Bites Dog, we specialise in bringing the many pieces of modern marketing and business strategy together, with campaigns that give whole organisations direction and focus. Call us today and tell us about your business challenges.

We recently had the pleasure of attending the Managing Partners’ Forum Technology Summit. The main themes included the evolution of the workplace and the digital transformation of professional services.

The two key speakers were Dr. Bob Murray, a leading scientist in the field of behavioural neurogenics from Fortinberry Murray, and Rick Seabrook, Managing Director (Europe) of Neota Logic, the producer of an AI software platform for the automation of expertise, documents and business processes.

Dr. Bob (as everyone calls him) started his presentation with a bold statement that professional service firms are ‘rushing into irrelevance’. It was a highly interactive session with plenty of practical advice on how to remain relevant no matter what the future brings. Dr. Bob sounded a cautionary note about rushing into the latest technology and forgetting about the value of your people.

Up next was Rick Seabrook who shared his experience of applying new ways of thinking to create change within professional firms, such as embracing new business models and transforming current business practices through new technologies. Rick believes that the next wave of innovation will be more human-centric in its application and benefit.

The two speakers were excellent and they presented compelling and contrasting perspectives on the key themes. The event was rounded off with an expert panel discussion and audience Q&A. The general consensus was that technology offers more opportunities than threats - but there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure professionals have the skills needed to complement technology in the face of automation.



The Gender Say Gap

For some years now, we have been campaigning to close The Gender Say Gap, a term we coined to highlight the invisibility of women and diverse leaders as expert authorities in business and public life.

View Campaign

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    Webinar | Tech Positive: Marketing in the Green Economy

    This technology marketing masterclass – hosted by Man Bites Dog’s Head of Technology Division Fiona Buckley and featuring Patrick Cassleman, Senior Director, Sustainability Center of Excellence at Intel and Man Bites Dog CEO Claire Mason...

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    Watch our webinar for tips on navigating B2B sustainability marketing communications

    In our webinar, ‘Much Ado About Greenhushing’, Man Bites Dog’s Divisional Director, Duncan Sparke, and Associate Director, Sean Farrance-White, were joined by industry experts Miles Lockwood, from the Advertising Standards Authority, and John Batten, from...

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    Insights, Sustainability, Sustainability and ESG, The Future of Work

    The Green Resignation

    Much attention has been paid recently to “the great resignation” – the pandemic-inspired talent exodus. It’s a phenomenon causing headaches for companies across the business spectrum – companies that aren’t sophisticated enough when it comes...

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